Posted on: August 30, 2018

Attention Transport, Logistics & Supply Chain Operators – Changes to Chain of Responsibility Laws

Attention to any of our transport and supply chain clients – changes to the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws are coming into effect on 1 October 2018.

Chain of Responsibility changes to Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL)

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has communicated changes to the HVNL to provide that ‘every party in the heavy vehicle transport supply chain has a duty to ensure the safety of their transport activities’.

The objectives of the legislation is to improve road safety, reduce damage to infrastructure, promote a ‘level playing field’ for the industry, improve deterrence and enforcement and improve efficiency and compliance.

What does this mean for transport, logistics and supply chain clients?

At a high level, what this means is that there is a greater obligation to reduce or get rid of potential risk of harm by doing everything you (reasonably) can to ensure safety.

The best way to do this is to create or check that you have rigorous safety management systems and controls in place (such as policies, procedures and training) that will help you to identify, qualify and manage your risks.

A lot of the focus driving these changes is around managing risk and compliance in regards to speed, fatigue, loading and maintenance, as well as documenting the actions you’ve taken to manage your risks and improve safety.

What are the biggest CoR changes?

The six biggest Chain of Responsibility changes (as per an article by mondaq) include:

  1. The addition of vehicle standards (maintenance) including mass, dimension, loading, speed and fatigue.
  2. The standard of legal duty is changing such that businesses could be prosecuted for failing to put in place CoR control structures and practices, EVEN if an accident or incident hasn’t arisen.
  3. Executive liability is changing – currently an executive can only be prosecuted where a breach of a CoR component is committed by their business, and the new standard will require executives to exercise ‘due diligence’ to ensure that their businesses comply with all duties under the CoR.
  4. Your CoR management system will more closely align with your WHS management system with the exception that under CoR you have a greater responsibility for the conduct of other parties within the chain (even offsite).
  5. Industry codes – the new laws mandate that any registered industry codes must provide greater compliance substance than those in the past in order to be accepted for registration.
  6. Increased penalties to ensure that greater attention is paid to CoR compliance.

Have questions about the specific risks facing YOUR business, or want to talk about your insurance safety net? Just give us a call!

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